Nov 13, 2018
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London West End tops Europe retail ranking, Paris next, but key malls beat some whole cities

Nov 13, 2018

UK retail may be under massive pressure but there was good news for London’s West End on Tuesday as the latest figures from retail real estate agency, Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH) showed that it has retained its position as the “best-performing retail centre in Europe.”

London and Paris retain their European shopping dominance

The HDH 2018 European Retail Ranking, a definitive list of the top 50 shopping destinations, also shows Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin and Munich have held onto their places in the table.  

Interestingly too, this year, HDH also ranked the top 10 shopping centres, and found that the very strongest European malls – both of London’s Westfield schemes – rank higher than some entire cities. “Westfield London alone attracts more retail spend than St Petersburg, given the significant out-of-town competition faced by St Petersburg,” it said.

With a market share of almost €10.4 billion, the West End retains its spot as London’s top shopping district, despite competition from Knightsbridge, from new retail developments such as King’s Cross and from the all-powerful Westfield London’s 68,000 sq m extension, as well as continued loss in the value of the pound against the euro.

The West End’s 2018 market size actually adds up to €10.394 billion, the HDH figures show.

But Paris is in second place on a market size of €9.734 billion, confirming its enduring appeal as a shopping magnet for locals and the huge number of tourists who visit France each year.

As mentioned, with HDH also publishing shopping centre rankings, and with London and Paris the leading cities, it’s perhaps no surprise that the top 10 shopping centres in Europe are in only two countries, the UK and France. After the two Westfields, we have Les Quatre Temps in Paris, Bluewater in Kent, Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Sheffield’s MeadowhallVélizy 2 in Paris, Lyon’s La Part-Dieu, Lakeside in Essex, and Newcastle’s Metro centre.


Back with the city list, Madrid is third on a value of €6.049 billion, with Rome next on €5.432 billion. 

The first ranking change comes at number five. Despite relatively flat retail sales growth in Germany, the Berlin market (€5.327 billion) has proved its strength, and following the launch of two new shopping centres, has moved into fifth place, displacing Munich (€5.289 billion) in the process, which is now sixth. 

Barcelona (€5.289 billion) is unchanged in seventh place with Amsterdam up two in eighth spot. Amsterdam (€5.089 billion) jumped from 10th place in 2017 following strong retail sales growth and the renovation of Kalverpassage, a shopping arcade at the southern end of Kalverstraat.

Milan is ninth (€5.016 billion) with Zurich rounding out the top 10 on €5.008 billion. Glasgow justified its claim to the the UK’s second biggest shopping city in 11th place with a value of €4.872 billion.

Istanbul has slipped further down the ranking since last year’s iteration. Ranked seventh just two years ago, the Turkish currency and debt crisis has not only impacted the value of the lira, but also halted some of the pipeline retail developments in the city, causing Istanbul to move to 12th this year.

Next, in order, come Lisbon, Birmingham, Manchester, Moscow, Vienna, Hamburg, Marseille and Dublin to complete the top 20.

Further down, in Poland, retail sales and disposable income have seen strong growth in recent years – which has led to Warsaw seeing the biggest gains in the table, climbing four places to 39. This growth is in spite of new competition for city centre retail in the shape of the 64,000 sq m Galeria Północna, which opened its doors towards the end of 2017.

Budapest is a notable new addition to the top 50 ranking this year. It is one of the most populous cities in Europe with about 2.5 million people in the urban area, and retail sales growth in Hungary has been strong since 2014.

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